Lafayette High School (Lexington, Kentucky)

Lafayette High School (Lexington, Kentucky)

Infobox School
name = Lafayette Senior High School
motto =Learners, Leaders, Legacies — Lafayette
established =1939
type =Public
principal =Vicki Ritchie
enrollment =~ 2000
nickname = Generals
streetaddress = 401 Reed Lane
city = Lexington
state = KY
zipcode = 40503
website =

Lafayette Senior High School (LHS) is a public high school located in Lexington, Kentucky. The school is one of five high schools in the Fayette County Public Schools district. It is among the largest high schools in Kentucky.

Lafayette High School opened in 1939 to replace Picadome High School. The school was named for the Marquis de Lafayette, the French general who became famous during and after the Revolutionary War. The family of the Marquis de Lafayette granted the school permission to use their family Coat of Arms.

CAPA at Lafayette High School

Fayette County's art magnet program, the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, or SCAPA, is associated with Lafayette. Its facilities are located on Lafayette's campus.

Academic Achievement

Lafayette has been widely recognized for a high level of academic achievement. The school has produced scores of National Merit Finalists. Students representing Lafayette have had repeated success in speech, debate, drama, and music competitions. The Lafayette Times (newspaper) and the Marquis (yearbook) have won many awards for excellence in student journalism. In 1986 and 1987 Lafayette won the Kentucky Governor's Cup, often seen as tantamount to the state academic championship.


Lafayette's athletic teams have been among the most successful in Kentucky high school history. The school has claimed more than 50 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) titles, including championships in boys basketball, baseball, boys and girls soccer, boys track, boys cross country, boys and girls gymnastics, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls golf, and boys and girls tennis. Several graduates (including Tyson Gay, Gay Brewer, Austin Kearns) have gone on to successful amateur and professional athletic careers. Lafayette/Picadome has been a member of KHSAA since 1924.


Lafayette's boys basketball team is generally regarded as one of the best programs in Kentucky prep history. LHS has claimed six state championships (1941, 1950, 1953, 1957, 1979, 2001) - a record matched only by arch-rival Henry Clay. Lafayette has won more than 1,200 games in its history, ranking high on Kentucky's all-time list.

Heading into the 2007-08 season, the boys' basketball team had a 1,215-611 all-time record.

Several former Lafayette basketball stars have gone on to play in college and the NBA. Lafayette's championship coaches include Maurice Jackson (1942), Ralph Carlisle (1950, 1953, 1957), Jock Sutherland (1979) and Don Adkins (2001).

The Lafayette girl's team was runner-up to the state championship in 1979.


Lafayette has also had great success in baseball, winning three state championships (1988-89, 1992). Its teams have benefited greatly from the quality of youth feeder orgnizations, namely South Lexington (SLYB) and Dixie Youth Baseball.

Several former Lafayette baseball stars have enjoyed successful college and professional careers, including 1998 Kentucky Mr. Baseball winner and current Washington Nationals star Austin Kearns.


Lafayette holds a total of seven boy's track team championships: 1953, 1954, 1963(tie), 1964; Class AA 1970, 1978; Class AAA 1985. Lafayette's success is punctuated by the performance of acclaimed runner and graduate Tyson Gay.

The school holds state track and field records in the following events:

Boys’ 100 Meter Dash - KY (AAA) Tyson Gay, Lafayette, 2001, 10.46; Boys’ 400 Meter Relay - KY (AAA) Lafayette, 1985, 42.06


Lafayette has claimed three boy's team golf championships and five individual titles. Former professional golfer Gay Brewer played for the school and won three consecutive state titles from 1949-51. Bryan Griffith won in 1967; Jeff Quammen in 1984.

The girl's team has also claimed five individual titles. Myra Van Hoose, currently the women's golf coach for the University of Kentucky, won four consecutive championships from 1970-73. Lafayette won girl's team titles in 1972 and 1973.


Lafayette's boys and girls soccer teams have also achieved at a high level. The girls soccer team won a state championship in 1992, defeating northern Kentucky powerhouse Notre Dame. Lafayette was state runner-up to the girls title in 1994.

Coach Rick Kazee led the boys team to a state championship in 1990. The boys team is currently coached by Chris Grimm.


Lafayette's football team has not excelled on the same level as its other sports programs. LHS did make an appearance in the 1985 4A State Championship game, but lost to Louisville powerhouse Trinity.

Recent years have seen an improvement in the program. In 2006, Lafayette finished the regular season undefeated, posting a 10-0 record. It was the program's best finish since the 1960's (the team fell to Woodford County (8-4) in the first round of the district playoffs).

Lafayette plays its home football games at James D. Ishmael Stadium. Originally built in 1953, the facility has been expanded several times and seats more than 4,000, making it among the largest stadiums in the state.

Lafayette's oldest rival is crosstown high school Henry Clay. Paul Laurence Dunbar HS and Tates Creek HS are also rivals.


The Lafayette Band is generally regarded as one of the premier music performance groups in the state of Kentucky; the program has won national acclaim.

Marching Band

The Lafayette Marching Band has won 14 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) [] state titles (1990-2002, 2006). The marching band has competed at the Bands of America (BOA) Grand National Championships several times, making the finals in 1995 and 2004. The band has also competed at several BOA Regional contests, reaching the finals at least once every year since 1995. The band has also claimed the Grand Champion title at the famed Contest of Champions in Murfreesboro, TN nine times (1975-76, 1978-79, 1990-94).

In addition, the band has performed twice at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City (1991, 2002).

The band started to grow initially in the mid 1950's under the direction of William Walter Hall.

While the Lafayette Band has always enjoyed a successful reputation, it was not known well until the program reached its pinnacle during the early 1990's. Under the direction of Steve Moore, the band claimed numerous marching contest titles, winning several consecutive state championships.

The 1991 band received the Suddler Shield award for Marching Excellence.

The 1993 season produced what many regard as the finest marching band show in Kentucky history, "Polovetzian Dances". The band finished the season undefeated and beat rival McGavock High School by nearly 10 whole points at the Contest of Champions. The 4A class state championship was never in doubt and Lafayette easily claimed the title.

The band's 1994 rendition of "Les Miserables" is also highly regarded and often lauded among band enthusiasts.

Concert/Symphonic Band

The band has also achieved success in concert/symphonic performance. The 1994 band was selected to participate in the Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL.

Charles "Chuck" Smith is the current band director. The Lafayette Band's historical rivals include: Paul Laurence Dunbar HS, George Rogers Clark HS, North Hardin HS (Radcliff, Ky.) and McGavock High School

Notable alumni

*Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher
*Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown, Jr.
*Gatewood Galbraith
*Sports broadcaster Tom Hammond
*Actor Harry Dean Stanton
*Actor Jim Varney
*Professional golfer Gay Brewer
*Professional wrestler, "Lone Wolf" Bobby Blade
*Major League Baseball player Austin Kearns
*Tyson Gay, sprinter; 2007 world champion at 100 and 200 meters
*Dirk Minniefield, former NBA player and current NBA drug treatment program manager
*Brian Poe CEO of EAS Technologies, LLC



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